Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

Self initiated- Background research Need for Speed


With my game i proposed to do a racing game, its vital i look into who my competitors would be if i was to launch my game.

The racing scene in games is a huge area that has been done for many years going all the way back to what is consider the first racing game in Gran Trak 10

So this was 40years ago, meaning i have 40 years of racing games to look into to try and figure out how these games work and what makes them sell well. I wont be covering every single game ever but i will raise the main competitiors.

Starting off with Need For Speed:

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Thats a fairly extensive video showing footage of each game breifly through need for speeds history but ill sum it up my way. Starting with the first in 1994 need for speed has been a constant game in the racing genre since then spanning 23 games in total and now 1 film based on the game. The introduction of the police in Need for speed 3: hot pursuit was one well recieved so much they have revistied it several times in there game to the point where you race as a cop to take down other drivers. Personally the best need for speed games was the undergrounds 1 and 2, these games featured fully modifiable cars which would be classed as “tuned” or “street racing cars”, the turn away from track racing to being in the city racing at night was much more immersive. Also the fully customisable vehicles from paint jobs to decals/ vinyls gave the car a feel of thats my car thats my work of art and we are going to win this race together, there was times id be angry with myself for scratching my new pearlescent paint job on my tuned hyundai coupe (not sure why but as i kid i liked that look) this really ignited my passion for cars and love of racing games. Carbon was one of my favourites the slow motion tension of drifting round mountains with lack of barriers to keep you on in a 1on1 battle to own a section of the city was intense, they really used Roger Caillios theories of play well particulary in Agon (competition) and Illinx (disorientation), agon is an obvious one it was all about competition every race is a battle against the other driver/ drivers to win, not only that it was a “who has the best car?” rivalry with modifications. Illinx was the blurring of the screen or the speed lines using the car lights to show speed and make you feel like wow im going fast here, as well as impact, weather and dirt having effect.

All that aside Need for Speed is the most successful racing video game series in the world, and one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. Over 140 million copies of games in the series have been sold to date. Making it the biggest contender id have to compete against if i was to launch my game, with that highlighted some playing of the game will be nessecery to perhaps emulate what works well and try implement that into my game with it being drag racing its different but the players sense of speed will be vital getting the balance right.

I am going to re purchase some of these games and have a play through to give myself some insight into features i like and dont like, aswell as some possible inspiration for the hud and menu navigation.


Author: Jason Pook 3D

Current student at Hull School of Art and Design studying Games Design.

2 thoughts on “Self initiated- Background research Need for Speed

  1. Pingback: Self Initiated- Research Gran Turismo | PHASEgaming

  2. Pingback: Self initiated- Presentations | PHASEgaming

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